Hallo, ich bin Jolina Carl – “Hello, I am Jolina Carl” rather sounds like a debut album than the release of a rather established artist. The German singer, who is having a strong country music background, persuaded me with her 2021 album Mexican Overdrive. Now, there is this new release, which has been produced together with Micky Brühl was promoted as her very first (almost) fully German language album. I definitely wanted to have a closer listen into these songs. Here is my review.
Jolina Carl – About the Artist
Similar to my Mexican Overdrive review, I have a surprisingly low level of bio information about the 1970-born artist. Thus, I refer to that review for a few lines of bio info.
Jolina Carl – Hallo, ich bin Jolina Carl – Track by Track
The thirteen track album lasts 44 minutes.
1. Liebeskummer lohnt sich nicht
The first song already sets a certain direction for the 2022 Jolina Carl album. Liebeskummer lohnt sich nicht is a German schlager classic, which has been interpreted in the mid-1960’s by Siw Malmkvist. Yeah, there is country-alike instrumentation in here, but finally it feels more schlager.
2. Das ist sowas von verboten
The second track is the first original on the album. Nonetheless, the mixture of schlager, rock and country elements sounds much more schlager than any other other genres. One main reason is the pop-ish touch and the thin lyric structure, which is characteristic for the traditional German genre.
3. Wir leben nur einmal
Wir leben nur einmal (“We just live once”) is the perfect indicator that the concept of the album could in fact work out for traditional German country music fans. The song feels like a track by big German country artists like Truck Stop or Tom Astor. Not the style of country music I favor, but I absolutely appreciate this track and would name it to be one of my favorites on this release.
4. Ich brauch mehr von Dir
Okay, you just cannot deny that the Bellamy Brother had a certain tendency to kitsch sounds. Thus, the original behind this song, I Need More of You, does already feel a bit schlager-alike. Jolina Carl’s version is simply too soupy for me to stand it the whole 3:37 minutes.
5. Geile Zeiten
This collaboration with Graham Bonney has been the latest single release before the album. The American accent of Bonney and the groove of the traditional instruments gives a nice touch. Again, a good listen for country traditionalists, even though I feel it is a bit too much.
6. Ich steh zu Dir
Ich steh zu Dir (“I stand by you”) is a cover of Tammy Wynette’s classic Stand by your Man. I feel that this one works much better than the Bellamy Brothers 2022 re-recording, especially as Jolina Carl and her team tried to stay as close as possible with the original recording. Thus, Ich steh zu Dir feels a bit like a cheap German version of a global classic, but there is sufficient magic in the original – nice listen!
7. Du und Ich
Du und Ich (“You and I”) is a ballad, somewhere between schlager and country. The lyrics are full of love and emotions. A song for the heart of Jolina Carl listeners.
Du und ich
Hand in Hand
Wie Sonne, Mond und Sterne
Ein unlösbares Band
Du und ich
Herz an Herz
Endlich wieder Liebe
Ohne diesen Schmerz
Du und ich
(“You and I,
Hand in hand
Like sun, moon and the stars
An unbreakable band
You and I
Heart to heart
Finally love again
Without this pain
You and I”)
8. Ehrbares Mädchen
Strong country grooves come back in the eighth song, which is in fact a Good Hearted Woman cover. The German version of the 1972 Waylon Jennings classic is actually not too bad, but it is finally just a rather reasonable replacement for the original.
Okay, I have to give in that I struggled with this song a lot at first listen. But the more I got into it, the more I liked Heimweh, a song about being homesick and all the special people and places you combine with that. After a couple of listens, this one became one of my favorite listens in here.
10. One Way Wind
There is a German phrase “Nicht Fisch, nicht Fleisch”. Literally translated, it would mean “Neither fish nor meat” and means that something is lacking profile as one did not decide to go the one way or the other. One Way Wind is “Nicht Fisch, nicht Fleisch” between country music and schlager. I feel it could have been a cool country track or a nice schlager song. But it is in the middle. Sometimes, this means, you take the best of both worlds, I guess that I don’t feel that this applies to the tenth song on the album.
11. Lange noch kein Cowboy
Jolina Carl and her team opted for this song as a single release. Indeed, it is a typical German country-schlager song. A touch of the big names of the business. Very catchy tune with a Nashville-style arrangement.
12. Sie bekommt Dich
Hank Cochran wrote this track in 1961, which has been released by Patsy Cline in 1962. I don’t want to refer to this fish and meat thing again, but again, I feel that this version is lacking character. Not a bad performance on the music side, but the result is just not good enough.
13. No No Never
The credits of this track name Jane Comerford-Grosser. German music fans know that this is a travel back to 2006, when the German country band Texas Lightning represented their country at the Eurovision Song Contest 2006 in Athens. A very special day for me, as Lordi won the ESC and brought pride to Finland. The pride for Germany was rather limited (14th place), but I still love the song. I would prefer the original, but Jolina Carl’s version of No No Never is not too bad.
Jolina Carl – Hallo, ich bin Jolina Carl – Spotify
Here is Hallo, ich bin Jolina Carl on Spotify:
Jolina Carl – Hallo, ich bin Jolina Carl – My View
I really love Jolina Carl and her music, but I’m not sure if she took the right direction with Hallo, ich bin Jolina Carl. Too many songs are just stuck in the country-schlager nether land, even though many songs could be either good country or good schlager recordings, some even both. Sorry, Jolina – this one is not more than average.
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